Kate Middleton Takes on Prince Harry's Old Royal Jobs a Year on From Split

Kate Middleton has been given two of Prince Harry's old royal jobs in a "huge honor" for the sport of rugby.

The Duchess of Cambridge will take over as patron of the Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union almost a year after Harry and Meghan Markle were stripped of their honorary royal titles.

The Duke of Sussex had his honorary military positions revoked while Meghan lost patronages to a series of organizations, including the National Theatre, in February 2021, shortly before they recorded their Oprah Winfrey interview.

However, the palace appears to have let the dust settle before passing on responsibilities.

Kensington Palace announced Kate's new positions while a spokesperson said they had been "given to The Duchess by Her Majesty The Queen."

Ralph Rimmer, chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said: "We are truly honored by the appointment of The Duchess of Cambridge as the Rugby Football League's Royal Patron.

"We are delighted to welcome her as we prepare to host Men's, Women's, Wheelchair and Physical Disability Rugby League World Cups in England this autumn."

Bill Sweeney, chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, said: "It is a great honor to welcome The Duchess of Cambridge as our Patron."

He added: "As rugby clubs have re-opened across the country, players, officials, and volunteers are celebrating being back in the game together, and we know the support of The Duchess will be greatly valued from our grassroots clubs and fast-growing women and girls' game, right up to our elite Men's and Women's England teams."

Harry and Meghan announced their decision to quit royal life in January 2020 and completed their final royal engagements in March that year.

Prince Harry, Kate Middleton Attend Marathon
Prince Harry and Kate Middleton cheer on runners during the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon on April 23, 2017. Kate is taking on two of Harry's former royal jobs. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

However, their departure was initially subject to a 12-month review period during which they technically continued to hold various positions, including the duke's honorary military titles.

In February 2021, Queen Elizabeth II stripped the couple of those affiliations, including Harry's coveted role as Captain General of the Royal Marines.

At the time, Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.

"Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.

"The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family."

A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan responded with their own statement at the time: "As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."